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Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 23:23 GMT
Timeline: French riots
Man passes charred cars in Paris
The violence has spread far beyond the French capital
A chronology of key events:

25 October: Visiting the Paris suburb of Argenteuil to see how new measures against urban violence are working, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is pelted with stones and bottles. He says that crime-ridden neighbourhoods should be "cleaned with a power hose" and describes violent elements as "gangrene" and "rabble".

27 October: Teenagers Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore are electrocuted after climbing into an electrical sub-station in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, in what locals say was an attempt to hide from police. The police deny this, but news of their deaths triggers riots in the area which is home to large African and Arab communities. Arsonists destroy 15 vehicles.

29 October: As unrest creeps across the Seine-Saint-Denis administrative region, a silent march to remember Zyed and Bouna is held in Clichy-sous-Bois by mourners in T-shirts reading "dead for nothing".

30 October: Mr Sarkozy pledges "zero tolerance" of rioting and sends police reinforcements to Clichy-sous-Bois. A junior minister in charge of equal opportunities, Azouz Begag, condemns the use of the word "rabble". A tear gas grenade, like those used by riot police, explodes at a Clichy-sous-Bois mosque, provoking further anger.

1 November: Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin pledges a full investigation into the deaths of Zyed and Bouna at a meeting with their families. Rioting spreads out of Seine-Saint-Denis to three other regions in the Paris area.

2 November: Rioters ransack a police station at Aulnay-sous-Bois, police report coming under fire from at least two live bullets at La Courneuve, and 177 vehicles are burnt.

3 November: Violence spreads beyond the Paris region to the eastern city of Dijon and parts of the south and west, with 400 vehicles burnt.

6 November: President Jacques Chirac promises to restore order after a meeting with his government. There follows the most violent night of rioting to date with nearly 1,500 vehicles burnt and nearly 400 arrests, many of them far beyond the Paris area. Two policemen are seriously injured in clashes in town of Grigny, near Paris.

7 November: Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec, 61, dies of injuries he received in an assault on Friday in the town of Stains, Seine-Saint-Denis. French media suggest he is the first fatality of the riots.

8 November: The cabinet authorises a range of emergency powers to tackle the unrest, under which local authorities can impose curfews and restrict people's movements. It is the first time the 1955 law has been implemented on mainland France. The move follows a night during which 1,173 cars are burnt and 330 arrests made, with 12 police officers injured.

9 November: Emergency powers come into force from midnight across more than 30 French towns and cities, including the Paris suburbs. The northern city of Amiens is the first to impose a curfew. Police say the level of violence is dropping, although incidents remain widespread across France.

11 November: The city of Paris announces a ban on all public meetings likely to provoke disturbances, to run from 0900 GMT on Saturday 12 to 0700 GMT on Sunday 13.

12 November: Hours before a curfew begins for minors, police in Lyon fire teargas to disperse rioters on Place Bellecour in the first rioting in a major city centre.

13 November: Police in Lyon follow Paris' lead, banning all public meetings in the city until 1900 GMT. Authorities describe the situation across France as "much calmer", with 370 cars burned overnight, 150 fewer than the previous night. Disturbances in Toulouse and St Etienne. The European Union offers France 50m euros ($59m; 34m) to help recover from the riots.

14 November: In his first major speech since rioting began, President Jacques Chirac pledges to create opportunities for young people in an effort to prevent any resurgence of urban violence.




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